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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    November 4, 2013
    9:00 - 10:01am PST  

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the failure of the launch of healthcare.gov was a long time coming. according to new reports from the "wall street journal" and "washington post," implementation of the affordable care act plagued by fragmented management that saw several government agencies overseeing different parts of the law without a single point person. david cutler, harvard professor and former presidential adviser. they were running the biggest startup in the world and they didn't have anyone who had run a startup or a business. it wasn't only mismanagement that doomd doomed the rollout, fear of republican sabotage and concerns over the 2012 election set the disaster two years before the site launched. "washington post" reports the white house slowed down important regulations that had been drafted months earlier, to wait until just months after president obama's election. medicare's top risk analyst, it was the president's most significant domestic policy achievement and the very aides that pushed the law through
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congress were risking bad implementation for a short-term political gain. regarding the president's infamous promise if you like it, you can keep it, some white house policy advisers objected to the breadth of keep your plan, they were overruled. in recent days, current aides have downplayed or dismissed the damage of those words. >> the vast majority of americans that statement will hold true. for this small group of americans it hasn't. the calamitous thing here the website wasn't up. many of those people who have to transition will get better insurance for less money but they can't tell now. >> any debate regarding the president's statement ever took place. >> i don't recall significant discussions around some of the verbiage on this to be 100% honest with you. >> do you agree it was a wrong move? >> certainly. >> one former senior
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administration official said the law is crafted by white house and lawmakers, some white house policy advisers objected to breadth of keep your plan promise. they were overruled by political aides. that is true? >> that is not my recollection at all of that. >> in the end it is likely with so many aca problems, the intentions may have been good but execution was flawed. as former white house speechwriter john favro told "wall street journal," the aim was to make it as simple as possible while still being true. editor of the magazine, politics business insider josh barrow and co-host of nbc's the cycle ari melber. joining me from d.c. the white house reporter julia halperin. congratulations on a big story who reads in many ways like whodoneit. heartbreaking if you're a fan of in insuring millions of uninsured americans. one thing i noticed throughout
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the piece that you guys ran this weekend was the fact that the president from the very moment this law was passed said and prioritized the development of the website. as you write, hours after the bill had been enacted, the president stood on truman balcony with champagne toast with his weary staff and put them on notice, they needed to get started carrying out the law the very next morning. given that, his attention and focus and reiteration of the importance of the website, how come this was -- the problems with it were never run up the chain of command? >> it's a good question. one thing i would clarify, i think it was very focused on implementation the moment after it passed. in terms of the website, the president's focus from what we understand kicked in six months ago. that's when he started seeing if the website doesn't work, nothing else matters. in terms of this broader question, something everyone, whether in punishment oacross the country is asking about, i think what it comes down is essentially the white house was
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talking to senior officials at health and human officials trying to find out what was going on with online enrollment system and those folks were talking to lower level agency officials who in many ways were afraid of failure, afraid of admitting this system wasn't working. while it's a little unclear what they were communicating to higher ups in hhs, that's where there was a breakdown of communication so the white house was totally unprepared for the problems we've seen since the launch october 1st. >> that fear must have been so pronounced. there's an anecdote you end the piece with. it's almost tragic as you write. some staff members worry the website would fail right in front of the president's aides as it was tested out. a few secretly rooted for it to fail so perhaps the white house would wait to open the exchange until it was ready. have you to ask yourself, why didn't one of the people standing in the room say this isn't going to work. it's not ready yet.
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>> it's a really good question. we don't know. the president and communications tried to make people feel for comfortable about admitting whether there were problems. at the end of the day they had known this was so important to the president and to the white house that they were unwilling to say what obviously became obvious to americans as soon as the website launched. >> i want to open this up to friends in new york who are in coordinated blue shirts and beautiful ties. thank you for ensuring there's a real uniform for today. >> hugo, we read these accounts and they do read like the poseidon adventure. >> it's not much better despite juliette's excellent report. >> there is a hope it will all work out. nonetheless, tracing these errors, it's painful. i keep using the words painful and tragic. you know how i feel about the rollout of this.
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that no one piped up. >> you look, think back to your own first job when you're a lower level person and working on something that's not working out, you do kind of keep a secret and horde it and worry and don't go running to your boss. we did a story about the launch of iphone. when steve jobs set up the big event. they had something put together with duct tape and wire. it was like -- he insisted on doing it live, steve jobs. he was pushing it through. it looked like the most ridiculous risk taking you could possibly have. so much riding on it. they could not believe it, the engineers, as they sat there in the audience that it worked for the live presentation. i think there was a kind of wishful thinking in this process like you know what, maybe the duct tape will hold and everybody at the lower levels is like i hope, i hope, i hope. it doesn't. now we're in a different stage of the process. now we under the mistakes that were made. now really it's a question of how quickly the administration can regain its competency and come in there and say now we
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know what the problems are. we can't keep fighting. it's not time to finger point and blame. it's time to be how do we get exchanges up and running efficiently so we get the effects we need from the amount of signups, get the actual system functioning. i think it's -- if i'm in the administration i'm not sitting around being like whose fault is this? whose fault is that? >> the question will be asked at some point, josh, is the president on the hook for any of this. there's vast amounts of obstruction both at the state level and congress in terms of funding this thing, opting out of the exchanges. there's incompetence. problems the president never could have trouble shot. as juliette points out he was more engaged in the last six months. should he have been more engaged a year before. >> it's possible to build a working exchange as we can see 14 states and district of columbia have websites that are various degrees of working. i don't think it's fair for the white house to say this is an impossible task. we couldn't have done it. >> i don't think they are saying that, are they?
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i think they are saying complicated task, systems failed, should have been better, not excusable. i don't think they are saying it's impossible. >> they are sort of talking about it like it's reasonable they did as badly as they did under the circumstances. if the thing is basically fixed in a month we will more or less forget about this episode thee years area. it will be like medicare part d and look back, hey, do you remember that time when the launch looked rocky for a couple of months. the problem is it's not clear they can fix the exchange architect you're in a month. if they can, why didn't they do it before the launch. if it drags into the winter, the enrollment deadline it becomes a substantive problem for the law. that will determine how the white house is viewed on this. attempts to message it day to day don't matter. futures the substantive thing to work the messaging will be fine. if you don't get it to work, nothing will make it better. >> sounds bites from current advisers pushing back on the
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reporting that he -- that there was an internal debate between policy advisers and political advisers over whether the president should have said categorically if you like your plan you're not going to lose it. i'm of the mind a lot of those plans sucked. pardon my french. it's a good thing for americans to have better plans. at the same time he was not truthful. people lost their plans. the question again is, is that just part of a perfect storm right now in terms of credibility as the white house is fixed and americans are more fluent in the technicalities and realities of aca? these words have import in months to come or is this truly sort of a damaging mark on the president's record. >> i think it really depends whether you look at this from a politifact fact checking, how many pinocchios do you get perspective or health care policy perspective. the change they needed in the wording is if you have a comprehensive plan or a standard plan, right? to some degree a lot of plans we're talking about are plans
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from a health perspective many people felt were misleading to the people who were on them or more related to catastrophic and not really going to meet the minimum standards they wanted as they regulated the system. so unfortunate word choice you could massage it on the wording and factual piece. >> it seems like quite a bit of massaging, doesn't it? go ahead. >> also, this isn't quite right. the way people on the left talking about the individual market where 14 million americans get health plans, all the plans are nonsense. they don't really cover things. there are bad plans in the individual market. there are perfectly good plans in the individual market. one of the reasons people get cheap insurance in the individual market is not just that they are buying a bad plan. they are young, healthy people with low actuarial risks. insurers look to them and say i don't think you're going to get sick. >> but that goes to the policy point. the same way if you make a new rule there are going to be new cars and they all have to have
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seat belts in them. the old cars refitted with seat belts or go off the market, that's a regulatory rule. how you sell it, how much detail is problematic. they clearly didn't find the right balance. >> here is the thing. this problem is done. there's no going back and fixing what the president said. he made a mistake. the white house has to spend time fixing the exchanges and getting that done. it's a good thing to talk about. it's not the first time in a campaign someone said something and reality turned out to be different. here it is, you should have put another adjective in there. was it mostly true? >> mostly didn't get you there. it really doesn't. read my lips, no new taxes. this one of those moments for him. >> i want to ask you, given the way this was developed, kathleen sebelius couldn't house the people working on the website in her office because of various fears regarding partisan
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political environment, funding, a host of issues. are you more confident the system they have in place now, the folks they are bringing in, the outside consultants are going to have an easier, less thorny time unraveling problems with this website they would have had six months ago? it seems the climate around the aca was no less heated than it was preelection. >> there's no question they obviously have a better management in place, property back jeffrey zients, former director, quite capable, president is involved, getting nightly briefings on it. there's no question they have a more concerted focus and better management structure for getting this done. whether they will actually fix the website by the end of november remains to be seen because it is such a formidable task. that still remain to be seen. >> it is an exhaustive and thorough piece. thank you so much for report, "washington post." that you for your time. >> thank you. >> after the break, debate over the farm bill focused on how much to slash food stamps.
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lawmakers also haggling over something else, how much to increase farm subsidies. we will discuss haves and have nots when agriculture secretary joins us live next on "now." this is the quicksilver cash back card from capital one. it's not the "limit the cash i earn every month" card. it's not the "i only earn decent rewards at the gas station" card. it's the no-games, no-signing up, everyday-rewarding, kung-fu-fighting, silver-lightning-in-a-bottle, bringing-home-the-bacon cash back card. this is the quicksilver card from capital one. unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere, every single day. so ask yourself, what's in your wallet? delicious, but say i press a few out flat, add some beef, sloppy joe sauce and cheese,
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. it may not be getting the same amount of attention as issues of hitting the panel, farm subsidies and basic questions of fairness at play, the farm bill ought to be getting more respect. last week lawmakers gathered to resolve key differences between the house and senate bills.
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the biggest issue of contention, food stamps or s.n.a.p., which account for 80% of farm bill spending. republicans want to gut the program by $39 billion over 10 years. on top of $11 billion in cuts that went into effect last week. a stimulus spending ended the gop would mama'sive cuts tightening eligibility and imposing tighter work requirements. the focus on s.n.a.p. dollars has object toured the fact that at the same time big agriculture lining its pockets with farm subsidies. never mind farm income is the highest it's been since 1973 fueled by record crop production and high prices for many crops and that farmhouse holds are wealthier than the average american household. joining me now to discuss the fate of the farm bill secretary of agriculture tom vilsack. mr. secretary, thanks for joining us today. >> i'm glad to be with you. >> i guess my first question is, how is it and why is it that
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funding for s.n.a.p. is being cut at the same time that we're increasing farm subsidies. >> lets make sure we understand precisely what's happening. the farm bill proposed to the house and senate would reduce both commitments to s.n.a.p. and to the farm safety net by direct payments to farmers there would be a savings of $50 billion. some of that is rolled back into safety opportunities, but the inette is a decline to assistance to farmers. it's significantly less than decline the house proposed for the s.n.a.p. program and that's where the inequity and unfairness in the house proposal is. >> ap reporting both the house and senate bills would increase subsidies for existing crop insurance and create a new crop insurance program. then you sort of look at the fail rate for farms compared to regular american businesses. farms failed at an annual rate of 25%. annual businesses in the united states -- annual business failure is 7%.
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given that and the disproportionate wealth from american farms to american households, the question for a lot of us, why are subsidies at the rate they are at. >> that's a fair question. the reason is that farmers basically can do everything exactly the way it should be done. they can be perfect at what they do. mother nature can come along and create a drought, flood, tornado, snowstorm and wipe out your entire operation. the cost of putting a crop in the ground is to expensive, you could lose your farm in a single year. americans benefited from this program because we have farmers willing to continue to farm. we have the greatest diversity, access and affordability of food of any nation in the world. we're a food secure nation because of the safety net. it is appropriate to have a safety net in place, balanced, help to farmers who need the help most. that's what new systems and programs are designed to do getting away from the direct payment that provided farmers checks in times i think a lot of
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americans found unfortunate and distasteful. >> to the point the subsidies going to those who need them the most, we have a stat since 1985, 83% of farm subsidies payments have gone to the top 15% of farms. is that changing? >> well, it's changing a bit. the reason for that is because the top 15% of farms produce roughly 85 to 90% of all the food produced in the united states. they have a significant financial investment in that crop. the bottom line is, this is a bill honestly that is not very well understood. we talk a lot about subsidies. we talk a lot about s.n.a.p. we don't talk about the fact 16 million jobs connected to the bill, 50 million americans live in rural america depend on it for quaflt liquality of life, w look at the bill, all of it, skosh it, we see this is a bill
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that benefits all of americans, rural americans. >> it seems like the farm subsidies are one thing. there's at least a common thread there in the house and senate bills as opposed to s.n.a.p. where there are huge differences in terms of numbers here. the senate bill has $4 billion in court, house has $39 billion in cuts. as representative, someone in the president's cabinet, what is the white house prepared to accept in terms of cuts to s.n.a.p.? >> i think we get focused on the numbers. it's unfortunate, we should be focused on the policy. the house bill has the wrong policy. it would does qualify people from the program, eliminate efficiencies in the program, not the right way to approach this. we should be focused on states where we spend $350, $400 million a year,en courage them to link up workforce development in their statement with folks on s.n.a.p. who are looking for work. we need to demand more from states greater accountability. if we did that we'd reduce the
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number of people who need s.n.a.p. the right way as opposed to discriminately eliminating people. it's the wrong policy and that gets you to the wrong number. under the circumstances the right policy, you'll get to the right number. >> if we put numbers off to the side to the policy itself, house bill has stringent work requirements, have to have a job, work program, with children can only receive benefits three months, would require states to require drug testing. how many are a nonstarter. >> the unfortunate thing for you, a lot of folks don't realize a lot of those requirements are in the law. if you're an able-bodied adult without a dependent you are required to look for work or be involved in employment training or schooling or your benefits are limited to three months out of every 36. that can be waived by state legislatures and grns who see unemployment as being high, they
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can waive it under circumstances. it's unfortunate to put a law on folks who are trying. 90% who receive s.n.a.p., senior citizens, people with disabilities, children or those people actually in the workforce. they are actually working a full or part-time job, they just simply are having a hard time making ends meet. when we talk about work requirements we're not talking about the vast majority of folks receiving s.n.a.p. and honestly need s.n.a.p. in order to survive. >> mr. secretary that seems to be almost the most deplorable, if i can say insidious part of this. the work requirements are part of establishing continuous establish this narrative that seems to have taken hold in the gop that this is a culture of couch potatoes people trying to benefit off the back of the taxpayer when in reality they are helping the working poor. people old, disabled, people who have children. beyond that there's an economic stimulus built into s.n.a.p., which is every dollar in s.n.a.p. benefits creates $1.70
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in economic activity. what do you make -- given the reality at hand here, which is s.n.a.p. is good for the economy, s.n.a.p. helps elevator people out of poverty. people on snap are not actually people who are looking to profit off the american taxpayer. why do you think republicans are so resistant to funding this program? >> well, it's hard to explain, especially since they are trying to eliminate efficiencies and basically put requirements on folks who already either have those requirements or those requirements are really not rational for a senior citizen or person with disability. i think it does give us a great opportunity to educate american public about precisely who is getting s.n.a.p., about the fact there are work requirements and the fact we ought to be demanding more from states who we give hundreds of millions of dollars to to better connect those who are looking for work with the jobs we know available in the economy. that's really where the focus should be. i would hope at the end of the day when this debate concludes with the passage of a farm bill that's the policy we focus on as
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opposed to this i think very disingenuous policy of suggesting 3 to 4 million people who need the program shouldn't get it. >> secretary of agriculture tomville sack, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. coming up, as some virginians cast their ballots in tomorrow's gubernatorial election, hundreds of thousands of state residents will be on the outside of the voting booth looking in. we will discuss voting rights in the old dominion coming up next. ♪ ♪ you get your coffee here.
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are talking about, everything they are talking about. it's about undoing the progress that the vast majority of the american people think was progress. >> the whole country is waiting for your choice. i know tomorrow night the people of virginia will send a clear message to our country and to the democratic party. >> we don't want obama care. we don't want big grochlt. >> both parties bringing in bigwigs in virginia. when the votes are counted there will be some noticeable absences. >> reporter: it's often an invisible barrier across the country. over 5 million american are barred from voting because they have criminal records. according to recent estimates from the sentencing project. >> in totally crass terms of presidential level politics to
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the most restrictive rates of virginia and florida when it comes to felony rights, these are perhaps two of the five most important states that decide who is president of the united states. >> reporter: nbc political director chuck todd knows voting has become a right that varies depending where you live. >> the real is what's going on in the states. this is a larger problem where basically if you live in a blue state, you have one set of rights. if you live in a red state you have another set of rights. >> while about 14 states bar inmates from voting while incarcerat incarcerated. another 31 use rules that deny voting rights to ex-felons even after they serve time. if those inmates allowed to vote, 4.3 million people would be added to the electorate. that's over three times the margin of victory in last year's midterm elections to the house, unlike many other burdens on voting, this one disproportionately hurts minorities. the sentencing project estimates one in every 13 black americans
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is barred from voting because of a criminal record. >> the states that have the harshest policies just happen to be those states with legacies of slavery, segregation, discrimination, voter suppression and the right to vote. >> a majority of disin franchise reside in six states. the former mayor of new orleans. >> the right to speech. the right to free exercise of worship and religion. the right to due process. the right to own property. we don't deny any of those rise to the formally incarcerated which is why this sticks out. >> president obama has said he'll sign a bill to restore voting rights to ex-felons, what some prominent republicans rand paul and rick santelorum. meantime millions of ex-convicts
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are barred from advocating for themselves. >> all right. that is a great piece. congratulations on it. a really timely one given the fact virginia gubernatorial race election is tomorrow. it shocked me that 5 -- almost 6 million americans are prohibit freddie vote due to felony restrictions. that breaks down so sharply along racial lines. one in 13 african-americans in the united states are disenfranchised in large part because of these felony restrictions -- restrictions on felons voting. how do we begin to -- how do red states or the states where this is happening begin to explain this, the reasoning, the rati rational behind denying the vote. >> i did hard to defend this. look, when you get out of jail, you've paid your debt. you don't have your due process taken away. you don't have your right of free speech or religion taken away. voting is a right. rand paul speaking as a
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republican from a state of former confederacy, when he likened this to jim crow as he did in senate testimony and some other republicans as well, i think that shows the fact that if you talk about it, if you get this on the agenda, it's an issue where politicians want to sound like they are for democracy and not these rules which are, a, anti-democratic and, b, highly racially unfair in their impact. >> hugo, it's really hard to stand up there and say you're against allowing people who served their time the right to vote. what was once the segregated south, rules in effect one in five black virginians will be unable to vote tomorrow. >> it looks like something where momentum could gather behind rolling it back. to me when i see those numbers the other thing that jumps out is the degree to which the criminal justice system is enmeshed, not to talk about the
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pulse and millions in prison. maybe this will be one issue that focuses some attention on that brokered picture, too. >> the fact that rand paul came out and said one in three black males convicted of a felony and lost voting rights dwarfs all other issues. hat's off to rand paul for taking an issue that's probably not that politically popular in his own party given the democratic leanings. >> i don't think this is an issue a lot of republicans have strong opinions on, so i think it's something rand paul can break with his party a bit. it fits in with his overall libertarian viewpoint. i don't think he'll pay a price. he raises a good point. one in five black adults in virginia is disenfranchised as a convicted flown. it's outrageous you have that level of disenfranchisement, it's also outrageous one in five black adults in virginia is a
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flown. points to the extensiveness of drug war, vast overcriminalization of nonviolent activity in the united states. we should extend voting rights but also send fewer people to prison for all sorts of reasons. >> major flaws. >> exactly. we've had a prison population that increased more than five fold, rising up to 2010 when it decreased for the first time in a generation. what this does, the title of the series is presumed guilty because we look at systemically under the data how the criminal justice system tends to be more likely to presume the guilt of african-americans than any other population at every stage. that comes from profiling and how we deal with suspects to how we deal with people in the system and incarceration to how we deal with them when they get out. the other point came up in the 1974 supreme court case that upheld this practice. the other point is a lot of people who believe in rehabilitation believe when people come out of prison we have to reintegrate them into society. public life, civic life, economic life.
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the idea that we are holding them back from this role, from participating in our democracy is really problematic for the thing everyone, liberals and conservatives say we want to do, follow the law. >> i have a question. when you're putting this report together you you find somebody who says, no, we've got to keep these kinds of restrictions in place, important to preserving the democratic process. who is the advocate. >> i quote in the article online, he talks about the idea there are certain rights you sacrifice if you do misconduct. that's his argument. >> there are many who are sacrificing. >> ari's in-depth analysis for ex-felons is up on msnbc.com right now. co-host of the cycle, ari melber. catch him every weekday at 3:00 eastern on msnbc. coming up, at his second inauguration in january, president obama declared a
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the tsa is reviewing policy changes after a gunman shot one of its officers at point-blank range at los angeles national airport. gerardo hernandez is the first tsa officer to be killed in the line of duty since the office was created 12 years ago. as with all tsa workers, hernandez was unarmed. police say the suspect paul ciancia had a note that said he planned to kill multiple tsa officers and wanted to, quote, instill fear in their traitorous minds. joining me msnbc correspondent pete williams. what are we learning? what's the latest on this
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alleged gunman? >> this is not where one of those investigations where every 10 minutes brings some other revelation. this is a long slow go to try to figure out the answer to the key question, which is why did he do it. there's nothing that his friends or roommates say this they thought he was an adherent to this extremist anti-government view expressed in this handwritten later, which is a general rant of the usual stuff about the federal reserve and federal government and the currencies and one world order and all of that. for some reason a specific attack on the tsa which he said was vilding his constitutional rights. he says in the letter if the tsa is going to treat all americans as potential terrorists it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. but what drove him to that, that's a question they are trying to answer. it does appear that he, himself, will not be able to shed much light on that. he was severely injured in the
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shooting. he was shot in the face. according to some investigators i talked to, could well be some brain damage here. there's a question, certainly not talking now, there's a question if he ever will. >> nbc's pete williams, thank you for the update. >> okay. >> drone program, targeted killing, other more secret operations within our national security apparatus. we'll discuss dirty wars coming up next. when we made our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals: help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger.
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part of strategy around the world. in the book "dirty wars" exposes
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the dark side of national security. it takes us to afghanistan where a night raid by special ops in 2010 left five civilians dead, two of them pregnant women. an entire village destroyed by u.s. military strikes in 2009 and mogadishu, somalia, where u.s. kill list being executed by local warlords. the world has become america's battlefield scahill says. at this point, it's unclear who the victors might be. >> a strange phone call, someone from the inside reaching out, someone close to the heart of the president's elite force. >> hundreds of covert operations, multiple. >> joining us now jeremy scahill, author of "dirty wars, the world is a battlefield." jeremy, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> you have criticized the administration's efforts to normalize and legitimize covert
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ops. do you think they have been successful in that effort? >> yes. i think barack obama because of who he is, nobel peace prize winner, constitutional lawyer by training has been able to celticly liberals on the idea this is a smarter way of waging war. in fact, there's very little new in war except technology. because of the debates the use of drones inspiring this country there's been a finer point. the u.s. has been in the business of assassination. obama is the first president in modern times to argue the u.s. not only had a right to do it but is right to do it. much of the world disagrees with that. sees convinced liberals this is a smart policy. >> hugo, we had last week a family from north waziristan, they had lost their grandmother in a u.s. drone strike, unacknowledged by the u.s. government, no reparations made to the family, deeply in debt because of medical expenses. they testified in congress. i think we have a picture of
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what the room looked like when they testified, it's basically empty. if you look at drones, 66% favor use of drones, 60% oppose use of drones, 50% say they do not know enough. on this issue, in many ways obama administration has won. >> one, the truth is it's a representative picture. it's true about here are the stories and the question is how many people are listening, right? >> right. >> the bigger question is what's the story that will get people to listen. how many stories will get people to listen. what will change the calculus. it's unclear. think of al gore's inconvenient truth, the power of that movie ten years ago and how it sort of got a lot of talking in the media and seemed like a really big deal. 10 years later how many americans are like going crazy about global warming. how much of an impact. >> the intruth about this issue is the obama administration is dramatically downplaying the
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number of civilians killed. when journalists follow up and go to the scene of these hits, the first time obama authorized a strike against yemen in 2009, the white house claimed yemen had done the strike. we know from wikileaks cables that's a flagrant lie, the u.s. was behind it. they killed 36 women and children in the strike. when i went and interviewed survivors, they described this horrible thing of the u.s. has not acknowledged they killed civilians. because they created a mat mat cal equation, it results in the number zero of civilians killed. >> also, the frequency of these attacks, josh, in one three-month period you report american troops staged 1700 night raids. we don't hear about that but we do hear about on friday a drone strike in pakistan killed a taliban chief mehsud. that's created with i won't say great celebration but a
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positive. american public hears about high-priority targets eliminated but rarely the civilian casualties, the way the drone strikes undermined american credibility overseas. >> the unanswered question about scope actually goes to the case the white house makes about this. when you say this is a smarter way of waging war, you can compare it to policy under bush administration september 11th attacks where we engaged in two full scale ground wars in iraq and afghanistan putting 100,000 american troops on the ground and probably leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths in iraq due to ensuing chaos and civil war. this is a strategy that has a much smaller footprint that i have to assume involves fewer civilian deaths. >> boots on the ground. >> we're not in the hundreds of thousands like iraq. that's true. >> so the question is if military interventions of this sort really are necessary, i think that's an open question, isn't this a smarter and less -- >> that's a very big question,
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whether or not military interventions like this are necessary. >> first of all, we can't let obama off the hook on afghanistan. obama escalated conventional war, tens of thousands of troops, massive airstrikes. he put stanley mcchrystal, a covert operator the joint operations man in charge of an entire theater of war and tremendous number of civilians killed in the kinds of wars you're describing there. to me the issue isn't because obama is killing less civilians this is a smart policy. we're still in a situation where we're making more enemies than killing terrorist in these operations not just because of the civilians killed. many people have the perception we are gratuitous adversary, bombing villages and going into countries without a declared war and conducting military operations. >> i'd like to ask jeremiah question, as you go around talking to people about your movie, your book, people in the country, where do you see the
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tide turning. stories are getting out about the bombsings. is there a foothold of popular opinion in the country that looks like it could be changing? >> i think one of the interesting things with the rise of the tea party but also the anti-war, more principled libertarians sort of converging their interests with some left anti-war folks, i think 2016 election is going to be fascinating because of this issue. my sense is that obama sort of convinced a lot of liberals to check their consciouses tecate room of his presidency on many of these issues, and i think the next time a republican is in office and tries to assert the right to do the very things obama did, some of those people will find their conscious again. >> the question is also as the president said in second inaugural the war is coming to an end. that is the fundamental question. gone from 2000 troops in 2011 as much as as 25,000. you quoted saying we've created one hell of a hammer. for the regs of our lives we'll
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be looking for nails. >> obama, most of the question was on beyonce and lip-synching. >> lets also keep in mind that second inaugural was praised for being a return to progressive values in many ways. it underscores the sort of presidency in the crosshairs between national security policy that is in many ways a continuation of bush administration and desire domestically to turn the page to more progressive far reaching -- >> i majdic cheney fishing in wyoming on his boat saying thank god obama did this. it cleaned up for the next time we're in office. >> a story without end. jeremy scahill, dirty wars on itunes as well as some screens. thank you for your time. thank you to my friends hugo and josh for bearing with me for this entire segment. that's all for "now." see you tomorrow at noon
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eastern, "andrea mitchell reports" next. guest host kristen welker. i'm meteorologist bill karins. it feels like a winter day in the northeast. only with the sunshine highs in the 40s. watch out in minneapolis, there's snow heading your way tuesday night. have a great day. this is the quicksilver cash back card from capital one.
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>> we need to show the republican party in america we can win again. guess where they are going to be watching our tuesday night to see if we win? right here in new jersey, everybody. they are going to be watching out. >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports," road to 2016. the parade of familiar faces hi the campaign trail ahead of tomorrow's election is giving voters a potential preview of the next presidential contenders. >> it sounds like you're planning for a message beyond new jersey. is that a fair assessment? >> i'm not planning for it. i just think it's inevitable. >> don't forts about hillary clinton. even without stepping food in iowa this weekend she was still the main event in the crucial presidential primary